Magenta - Chaos From The Stage review

A rather quiet riot from the impeccable Welsh crew

Magenta - Chaos from the stage cover art

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One can only assume Magenta had their tongues firmly in their cheeks when they titled this Chaos From The Stage. Chaotic it is emphatically not. For starters, filming took place last November at the Assembly in Royal Leamington Spa, one of the least anarchic places on the planet. Guitarist Chris Fry wears a prim waistcoat, while vocalist Christina Booth resembles a kids’ TV presenter in her colourful baggy jumpsuit.

The audience is of the contemplative, head-nodding kind; fans in the front row lean on the barrier with arms folded. (Although they do burst into rapturous life after set closer Metamorphosis.) The stage is bathed perpetually in a cool blue hue and there’s no backdrop, just thick heavy curtains. The most riotous moment occurs when Booth asks the soundman to turn down the drummer’s tom-toms at the end of Glitterball. So in place of helter-skelter lawlessness the atmosphere is one of calmness and serenity. Magenta’s mellifluous musicianship is impeccably crafted but despite the use of multiple cameras and some brisk editing there’s little sense of occasion; bluntly, this just a decent documentation of a typical Magenta gig. Fine for diehard followers but of little interest to the uninitiated.

Geoff Barton

Geoff Barton is a British journalist who founded the heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and was an editor of Sounds music magazine. He specialised in covering rock music and helped popularise the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) after using the term for the first time (after editor Alan Lewis coined it) in the May 1979 issue of Sounds.